Miami Sunset High School principal resigns after moldy juice, roach photos emerge

School district says results of recent health inspection satisfactory

The principal at Miami Sunset Senior High School has resigned after photographs showing deplorable conditions on campus were shared by students on social media.

Dr. Lucia Cox tendered her resignation Wednesday after an online petition calling for her ouster received more than 1,000 signatures.

"Recognizing the best interests of Miami Sunset Senior High School, its students, faculty, and community and standing firmly on the high standards expected at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, today we accepted the early retirement of Dr. Lucia Cox," Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said in a statement. "Restoring Sunset Senior to its optimal teaching environment is of paramount importance; therefore, a temporary leader will be assigned until a permanent appointment is approved at the next school board meeting."

Among the photos shared were images of mold in juice boxes, dirty bathroom stalls, a roach in a bathroom and discolored water from a faucet.

School officials said they haven't been able to confirm that the pictures are accurate portrayals of campus conditions, but they admit the garbage was not collected during the winter break -- a mistake they call unacceptable.

A senior at the school said she doesn't eat in the cafeteria but believes the pictures are representative of what she sees every day.

"The school's pretty dirty," senior Juliana Cardetey told Local 10 News.

A school district spokeswoman said the results of a health inspection conducted Wednesday were satisfactory.

Some students claimed they were told not to post pictures of the school's conditions, but school officials said that's not true.

Carvalho took to Twitter to praise the students who enacted change.

"Students' honest voices must not only be respected, and honored, but those that lead to systemic change, celebrated," Carvalho said in a tweet.

The principal of adult education at the school was named interim principal until the school board elects a new principal Feb. 11.

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